Help! I’m Lost on “PINTEREST”!

Free Knitting Pattern for Classic Lace Baby Throw - This baby blanket by Lion Brand Yarn is knit in 3 panels of lace and 2 panels of seed stitch and then seamed. 32 x 35 in. (81.5 x 89 cm)

If you’ve read my blog for very long you know I LOVE knitting – especially if it’s challenging (Why? I’m not sure!). There is a wonderful site on line that’s free; it’s called PINTEREST and it has all kinds of ideas for almost anything you can think of: crafts, cooking, fitness, home improvement, fashion, building, inspirational sayings, tips on how to raise foods/yard plants, etc. – if you think it – it’s probably on that site!

They have a HUGE area for all things knitting and, in particular: Lace Knitting. I have recently learned that I love the challenge of lace knitting. It doesn’t have to be a doily (which most of you are probably thinking of when you hear lace knitting) – almost all of the baby blankets I have knit lately have been lace patterns. For example, the picture above is a lace knitting pattern (one I’ve bookmarked for a future baby blanket). There is really only ONE problem with Pinterest: once you start looking you get MESMERIZED! You can lose entire hours just looking at all the various things there! Sometimes you end up seeing a lot of the same thing; for example, I was looking at a particular site that just dealt with lace knitting – there were probably at least 12 patterns with the same photos repeated over & over & over! Why? Not really sure – you just learn to kind of skip/skim over them. If you have some extra time give Pinterest a try – I’m sure there’s something on there you would find interesting! (even recipes!)


Hotel Rice Pudding

1/4 C. (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 C. sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 pint sour cream
1 C. raisins
1/3 C. chopped maraschino
3 C. cooked long or whole-
grain rice (not instant)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
spray a 1 1/2 quart casserole
dish with nonstick spray. In
large bowl cream butter &
sugar. Using elec. mixer, beat
in eggs, one-at-a-time. Add
remaining ingredients & mix
well. Pour mixture into
prepared dish & bake 45-50
minutes until center is set.
Serves 8


Bacon & Egg Macaroni Salad

1 lb. elbow macaroni
8 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 C. chopped celery
1/2 C. finely chopped red onion
2 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. black pepper

Cook macaroni accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain/rinse & let cool.
Place cooled macaroni in large
bowl; add remaining ingredients &
mix well. Cover & refrigerate at
least 1 hour before serving.
Serves 10


Crockpot Chicken & Mushrooms

1 1/2 lb. chicken
2 T. oil
1 (16 oz) pkg. crimini mushrooms,
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt/pepper, to taste
1/4 C. fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 C. chicken broth
2 T. cornstarch

Cooked rice or pasta

In medium skillet add oil & chicken; cook
on medium-high heat & sear until brown;
flip & brown on other side. Place in crockpot.
In same skillet add onion & saute until
tender; put in crockpot. Place mushrooms,
garlic, & parsley in an even layer over chicken;
pour in broth & add salt/pepper. Cover &
cook on Low 4 hours. Remove chicken &
add cornstarch to juices & mushrooms in
crockpot. Whisk until smooth then return
chicken to crockpot. Cover & cook until
gravy is thick, about 20 minutes. Serve
over cooked rice or pasta.
Serves 4-6


Crockpot Garlic/Lemon/Butter

6 qt. or larger crockpot

3 medium artichokes (or 2 large)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lemon
1/4 C. butter
1 C. water

Cut bottoms off artichokes so they
sit flat; cut very tops off (about
half inch). If you have trouble
getting the chokes to fit, peel off
a few of the outer leaves; place
them in crockpot. Sprinkle salt/pepper
then add garlic. Squeeze lemon
juice over them. Cut butter into
slices & place on top. Add water
to bottom of crockpot. Cover &
cook on High 3 1/2 hours without
opening lid during cooking time.
Serve with melted butter (or
mayonnaise, if that’s your thing)
Serves 8


BLT Panzanella (Bread) Salad

1 lb. bacon
1 T. olive oil
1/2 loaf French or Italian bread,
cut into 1-inch squares
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
4 C. chopped romaine lettuce
4 C. chopped iceberg lettuce
1 C. fresh basil leaves
2 large tomatoes, cored/cut ito
bite-sized pieces

2 T. fresh lemon juice
zest from 1/4 lemon
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. whole grain mustard
1 T. mayonnaise
1 T. sour cream (or creme fraiche)
1/2 tsp. honey
few drops sriracha or other hot sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
few grinds fresh ground black pepper
2 T. bacon fat
3 T. olive oil
1 T. basil, finely chopped

Cut bacon into 4 pieces each;
cook until crisp in large skillet.
Drain on paper towels & reserve
1 T. in pan & 2 more for dressing –
total of 3 T. reserved.
Add oil to 1 T. bacon fat in skillet &
heat to medium high. Add bread,
salt & pepper – toss continuously
until toasted on all sides, about
10 minutes.
Cut romaine & iceberg lettuces into
bite-sized pieces – place in large bowl.
Add whole basil leaves, tomatoes,
cooked bacon & toasted bread – toss.

Place all dressing ingredients (except
bacon fat, oil & basil) into a blender –
blend & slowly add bacon fat & olive
oil. Toss in basil & pulse a few times
to combine. Serve dressing drizzled over
salad & tossed to coat – or on side, if
Serves 4-6


Cantonese Orange Ribs
(oven & crockpot methods)

1 slab meaty pork baby back
ribs, cut into serving pieces

Glaze: (for both methods)
1 C. orange marmalade
3/4 C. water
1/3 C. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

OVEN directions:
Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Place ribs, meaty side down, in
a shallow roasting pan. Roast
30 minutes; drain fat. Turn
ribs meaty-sides up, reduce
oven temp. to 350 degrees &
continue roasting (uncovered)
60 minutes longer.
CROCKPOT directions:
Place ribs in a 5-7 qt. crockpot.
Add 1 C. water & 1 T. soy sauce.
Cook on Low 6-8 hours.

 Place all glaze ingredients in a
small saucepan; bring to boil
over high heat. Reduce heat
to medium-low & reduce by
50% (should be like thick syrup).
Heat a gas grill OR broiler on
High heat. Generously glaze ribs
with glaze. Grill each side
approximately 5 minutes –
watch them carefully so they
don’t burn – just get bubbly
on the surface & slightly crisp.
Serves 4


Pecan Pie Bars

1 1/4 C. (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted
butter, room temp.
6 T. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt

2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 C. light corn syrup
1 1/2 C. light brown sugar, packed
2 T. heavy cream
1 lb. pecans, chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.


Beat butter & gran. sugar in bowl
of elec. mixer fitted with a paddle
attachment until light, about 3
minutes. Add eggs & vanilla; mix
well. Sift together flour, baking
powder & salt. Mix dry ingredients
into batter with mixer on Low
speed just until combined. Press
dough evenly into ungreased
9 X 13 inch baking sheet,
making an edge around edge like
you would a pie crust. (It will be
very sticky; sprinkle dough &
your hands lightly with flour)
Bake 15 minutes until crust is
set but not browned; let cool.


Combine butter, corn syrup &
brown sugar in large, heavy-
bottomed saucepan. Cook over
Low heat until butter is melted,
using a wooden spoon to stir.
Raise heat & boil 3 minutes;
remove from heat. Stir in heavy
cream & nuts; pour over crust,
trying not to get the filling
between the crust & pan. Bake
25-30 minutes until filling is set.
Remove from oven & allow to cool.
Wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate
until cold. Cut into bars & serve.
Serves 18



Today is another busy day so I’m taking
a little time to relax here on my computer
as well as knitting a few rows on both
baby blankets. Among my purchases at
WalMart yesterday were two very large
balls of yarn: one a bright, cheery
yellow and a bright blue – sometimes
it’s hard for me to CURB my desire to
start another project when I see a really
cute pattern or nice baby yarn. Ah, the
‘fun’ of being a bit ADHD (Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) – No,
I don’t actually have ADHD (my middle
son does) – basically you get easily
distracted by almost anything! I’m not
that bad, but when it comes to yarns,
knitting & new patterns – I’m there!

Hope you’re having a GREAT day!




It’s looking like another beautiful day here – in the mid 70’s & sunny! So far this week my babysitting has been rather easy (I say that quietly – I’m happy with seeing the little guy but rather enjoy a LITTLE sitting rather than 8+ hour days, back to back). The other grandfather is currently in the hospital as of Saturday – they think he had another stroke but can find no signs of it so they’re running tests. I feel really bad for the grandmother & daughter (my oldest son’s girlfriend & Mom to the baby) – they have enough stress in their lives so this just added more. Grandfather has had a history of strokes and has been losing weight (15 lb. in a little over a month) so they think he also has a slow bleed somewhere, hence why they’re keeping him at the hospital for testing. I only babysat Tuesday 2:30 – 5, so that was easy and the baby was in a great mood. Tuesday was Knit/Crochet Night, last night was special needs group. THIS SATURDAY the knit group talked me into arranging something new for us; this Saturday is NATIONAL KNIT IN PUBLIC DAY! We’re going to meet on Panera Bread’s patio at 10 a.m. and just do what we all love – KNIT (and I included our crocheters, too). Not sure just how many we’ll have (I’m guessing maybe 3?) and I’m not planning on staying long (maybe an hour?) but it’s all open-ended, so we’ll see. Currently still plodding ahead with the blue ‘Tassel stitch’ baby blanket and started another multi-color blue/white/lime green blanket in the stitch I did last (It’s from the Linus Project – another charity that collects blankets and, NO-I only borrowed their pattern, not joining another charity project group – that would be a little too much for me). I’m ‘trying’ to get my knit items delivered – need to take 40 baby hats to local hospital and about 5-6 blankets to Crisis Pregnancy Center’s mobile unit (they are a little hard to coordinate delivery times for – they are a mobile unit that travels all over; we’re looking at next week some time).


Hawaiian Cheesecake Salad

8 oz. cream cheese
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant cheesecake
pudding mix (unprepared)
1 C. International Delight French
Vanilla (coffee) Creamer
1 lb. strawberries, hulled/sliced
4 mandarin oranges, peeled/
1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits,
3 kiwi, peeled/cut into half moons
2 mangoes, cut into bite-sized
1 banana, cut into circles
juice of 1/2 lemon

In medium (tall) bowl-poster
uses 8 C measuring cup) using
elec. mixer, whip cream cheese
until smooth. Add dry pudding
mix – beat until well combined.
With mixer on Low, slowly add
creamer to cream cheese mix –
about a tablespoon at a time –
mix until it becomes smooth &
all of creamer has been combined
into cream cheese – repeat until
all creamer has been used – whip
until smooth. In large bowl,
combine strawberries, oranges, pine-
apple, kiwi & mango. Add cheese-
cake mixture to fruit & gently
fold together. In small bowl combine
banana & lemon juice – toss until
well coated, draining any excell
lemon juice. Gently fold banana
into cheesecake salad. Chill until
ready to serve or serve immediately.
Serves 16

NOTE: Do not pour all of creamer into
cream cheese mixture at once – it will
get clumpy & no matter how long you
beat it, it will stay that way.

Recipe can be made ahead: Prepare
cheesecake mixture & refrigerate in
bowl. Mix all of fruit in large bowl &
refrigerate. Before serving, drain any
excess liquid from fruit then fold into
cheesecake mixture.


Asiago Chicken Pasta w/Sun-dried
Tomatoes & Spinach

1/3 C. sun-dried tomatoes (with oil)
2 T.) (comes in a jar)
1 lb. chicken breasts, sliced in half &
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. Half & Half
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. asiago cheese, grated
8 oz. box penne pasta
2 C. fresh spinach leaves

If sun-dried tomatoes are too big,
chop into smaller bites. Heat 2 T.
olive oil with tomatoes & garlic in
skillet over medium heat. Add
chopped chicken – generously
season chicken in skillet with salt &
paprika – cook until chicken is cooked
through completely. To skillet add 1 C.
Half & Half & 1/4 tsp. salt – bring to boil.
Add grated Asiago cheese & stir about
30 seconds to melt cheese. Reduce heat
to simmer & continue stirring to make
sure all cheese melts. If sauce is too thick,
add another 1/3 C. Half & Half & stir.
Taste sauce – add more salt, if needed. Cook
pasta accordg. to pkg. directions – drain/
rinse. Add past to sauce. Add spinach & mix
well. On Low simmer, cover with lid & let
pasta sit to allow spinach to wilt. After
spinach has wilted, stir everything together
to combine – taste & adjust seasonings if
needed. Serves 4


Taco-stuffed Zucchini Boats

4 medium zucchini, cut in half
1/2 C. mild salsa
1 lb. ground turkey
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt, to taste
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 small onion, minced
2 T. bell pepper, minced
1 (4 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/4 C. water
1/2 C. Mexican-blend shredded
1/4 C. chopped scallions or cilantro,
for topping

Bring large pot of salted water to
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place 1/4 C. salsa in bottom of
large baking dish. Using a small
spoon or melon baller, hollow out
centers of zucchini halves, leaving
1/4 inch thick shell on each. Chop
scooped out flesh into small pieces
& set aside 3/4 C.  to add to taco
filling (squeeze excess water out
using a paper towel) – discard
rest of flesh or using in another
recipe. Drop zuccini halves in
boiling water & cook 1 minute –
remove from water. Brown turkey
in large skillet, breaking up pieces
while cooking; when meat is no
longer pink, add spices & stir well.
Add onion, bell pepper, reserved
zucchini flesh, tomato sauce & water-
stir then cover & simmer on Low
20  minutes. Using a spoon, fill
hollowed zucchini ‘boats’, dividing
filling equally, about 1/3 C. per
half, pressing mixture into boats
firmly. Top each with 1 T. shredded
cheese. Cover with foil & bake 35
minutes until cheese melts &
zucchinis are cooked through. Top
with scallions & serve with salsa
on the side. Serves 4

Garlicky Shrimp Alfredo Bake

10 oz. penne pasta
3 T. butter, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. medium or large shrimp,
3 T. chopped fresh parsley, divided
2 T. flour
3/4 C. milk
1/4 C. chicken broth
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese,
1/4 C. plus 2 T. freshly grated
Parmesan cheese, divided
fresh ground black pepper
2 large tomatoes, chopped (about 1 C.)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large pot salted water cook pasta
accordg. to pkg. directions for al dente;
drain & return to pot. In large oven-
proof skillet over medium heat, melt
1 T. butter; add garlic, shrimp & 2 T.
parsley – season with salt. Cook until
shrimp is pink & no longer opaque,
2 minutes per side. Transfer shrimp
to a plate (keep juices in skillet)
Add remaining 2 T. butter to skillet
& let melt; add flour & whisk until
golden, 1-2 minutes. Add milk &
chicken broth – bring to simmer.
Stir in 3/4 C. mozzarella & 1/4 C.
Parmesan cheese until creamy –
season with salt/pepper. Return
shrimp to skillet; add tomatoes &
cooked pasta – toss until combined.
(add more milk if mixture is too
thick). Sprinkle with remaining
1/4 C. mozzarella & 2 T. Parmesan
& bake until melty, 5-7 minutes.
Place under broiler 2-3 minutes
until top is golden (watch carefully
so it doesn’t burn). Garnish with
remaining T. parsley & serve.
Serves 4


Farmers Market Summer Crockpot Stew

1 (2 lb.) beef chuck roast, cut into
1/2 inch cubes
1/3 C. flour
3 T. olive oil
2 C. sliced carrots
3 ribs celery, diced
3 C. russet potatoes, diced into 1/2
inch pieces
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
4 C. water
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 T. minced fresh parsley
salt/pepper, to taste

In large bowl combine beef cubes & flour,
mixing well to coat. In medium saucepan
over medium-high heat, saute beef in oil,
stirring occasionally until beef is slightly
browned, 5-10 minutes (beef will not be
entirely cooked). Place beef in crockpot;
add carrots, celery, potatoes, onion, garlic,
tomatoes, water, vinegar & seasonings –
stir to combine. Cover & cook on Low
5-6 hours. Season with salt/pepper before
serving. Serves 8-10

NOTE: Stew will keep, refrigerated, up
to 4 days


Loaded Macaroni Salad

8 oz. shell macaroni
4 eggs, hard-boiled/chopped
4 sweet pickles, chopped
2 oz. pimento, diced
6 oz. black olives, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 T. balsamic vinegar
1 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika

Cook macaroni accordg. to pkg.
directions; drain & rinse under
cold water. Place cooked macaroni
in large bowl with eggs, pickles,
olives, pimentos & onion. In small
bowl mix vinegar, mayonnaise, salt/
pepper, paprika & mustard – pour
over macaroni mixture & mix
thoroughly. Chill at least 1 hour
before serving.


Chicken Alfredo Roll Ups

9 lasagna noodles
1 (14.5 oz) jar Garlic Alfredo
1 lb. cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic salt
2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8 X 8″ baking pan with
nonstick spray. Pour 1/2 C. Alfredo
sauce on bottom of pan & spread
out. Cook lasagna noodles until
al dente (do not over cook them
as they will be baked, also). Drain
& rinse noodles with cold water.
While they are cooking mix 1 C.
Alfredo sauce, 1 C. Mozz. cheese,
chicken, garlic salt & oregano in
a bowl. Lay out cooked noodles &
blot water off with paper towel.
Spread 1/9 of chicken mixture on
a noodle – roll up  & place, seam
sides down in pan – repeat with
remaining noodles & sauce. Pour
rest of Alfredo sauce on top &
top with remaining cheese. Bake
30 minutes. Serves 4-5


Mini Muffin Tin Lasagnas

1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 (15 oz) carton ricotta cheese
2 C. shredded Italian cheese blend,
1 T. olive oil
24 wonton wrappers*
1 (24 oz) jar garden-style pasta
minced fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In bowl mix egg, ricotta cheese &
1 1/4 C. Italian cheese blend.
Generously grease 12 muffin cups
with oil; line each with a wonton
wrapper. Fill each with 1 T. ricotta
mixture & 1 1/2 T. pasta sauce. Top
each with a second wrapper, rotating
corners & pressing down centers.
Repeat ricotta & sauce layers. Sprinkle
tops with remaining cheese blend. Bake
20-25 minutes until cheese has melted.
If desired, sprinkle tops with parsley.
Makes 6 servings.

*You can find wonton wrappers in most
grocery stores in the refrigerated section
of the vegetable/fruit aisle


Pineapple Sunshine Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 C. oil (poster used vegetable)

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple with

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick spray. In large bowl
combine cake mix, eggs, oil &
crushed pineapple with juice;
mix well & pour into prepared
pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into center
of cake comes out clean. Allow
to cool completely on wire rack.
In medium bowl fold Cool Whip,
pudding mix & crushed pineapple;
spread over top of cooled cake.

NOTE: Poster reserves a small
amount of pineapple to sprinkle
on top of frosting at the end



Not much else new around here, gas
prices are staying the same ($2.49/9).

Hope you are enjoying a lovely day –



Feeling MUCH Better, Thank You!

After living with my back being ‘less than great’ since Friday, I can now say that using the Icy Hot Smart Relief TENS therapy machine really worked to relax the muscles in my lower back. It took using it 5-6 times a day (half hour each session) but I finally don’t feel that pain and can stand up straight again! Thank You, Lord! I even cooked dinner last night (Potatoes O’Brian) – first time ‘testing’ how long I might be able to stand without pain or needing to sit down. Tonight is my special needs group – Music/Birthday Night – I’m going to attend but not stand up (much) if I can avoid it. For most of the evening I will be sitting at the piano, so that’s not a problem.

The evening before I felt the back injury I visited my oldest son’s family – while there I did a little ‘gentle’ wrestling with my older (10 1/2) grandson – there, I believe, was my mistake. Usually when he’s at our house we sit in my recliner & ‘wrestle’ – that’s fine. This time, it was sort of impromptu where I was standing up & he sort of ‘bent me over’, grabbing my neck which put my lower back into stress mode – didn’t hurt at the time but the next morning I couldn’t stand up straight without a lot of pain. This was my first visit with BOTH grandsons and it worked out great; I made sure I spent a good amount of time with older grandson FIRST before spending some time holding the baby.

As you can see, he loves his little brother!

He’s now a little over 3 weeks old


Pecan Pie Bars

2 1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 sticks cold, unsalted butter,
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
2 1/4 C. pecans, chopped
1 2/3 C. corn syrup
1 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. honey
6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter,
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
foil or parchment paper. In food
processor or large bowl, mix
together flour, sugar & salt until
combined. Slowly add in cold
butter & mix until mixture is
coarse & crumbly. Pour mixture
into prepared dish & press evenly
onto bottom & around edges to
form crust. Bake 20 minutes until
golden brown. Remove from oven.

In large bowl whisk eggs, corn syrup,
sugar, honey, butter & vanilla. Fold
in pecans & mix until thoroughly
coated – pour over hot crust. Return
to oven & bake 25-30 minutes until
filling has set. Remove & let cool
completely before removing using
foil, from baking dish. Cut into
bars. Makes 4 dozen


Crockpot Spicy Turkey Chili

1 lb. ground turkey
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded/diced
(unless you want more heat – leave
seeds in)
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ancho chili powder
1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried cilantro
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
8 oz. fresh sweet corn kernels
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans fire-roasted
diced tomatoes
2 C. chicken broth

Suggested ‘toppers’:
shredded Cheddar cheese
sour cream

Heat skillet over medium high heat.
Add gr. turkey & brown, breaking
apart with spatula; add diced
jalapenos to skillet & all dried spices.
Stir & cook until turkey is browned &
jalapenos begin to soften. Add mixture
to crockpot along with corn, tomatoes
& broth. Cover & cook on High 2-3 hours
or Low 4-6 (can cook on Low for up to
8 hours). Serve with shredded cheese &
sour cream, if desired. Serves 6


Cheesy Corn-stuffed Chicken

4  boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 C. shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 ‘pouch’ Libby’s (frozen) Sweet Corn,
seasoning for chicken (salt/pepper or
taco seasoning)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Make a horizontal sliced in side of
each chicken breast (making a pocket).
Mix cream cheese, corn & Pepper Jack
cheese & stuff breasts with mixture.
Place breasts on rimmed cookie sheet
& bake 20-25 minutes until chicken
is done & juices run clear. Serves 4


Open-faced BBQ Chicken Sandwich

1 loaf French bread
2 T. butter, softened
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
3/4 C. BBQ sauce
3 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 green onions, chopped
3 T. cilantro, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Slice bread in half lengthwise.
Line a large cookie sheet with foil;
spray with nonstick spray. Place
bread on foil & spread 1 T. softened
butter on each half; place in oven to
toast slightly (4-5 minutes). Place
shredded chicken in a bowl & mix
with BBQ sauce. Place bowl in
microwave & heat 4 minutes. Stir
chicken mixture & place on toasted
bread. Sprinkle bread halves with
mozzarella cheese & place in oven
to melt – about 5 minutes. Spread
green onions & cilantro over both
halves & cut into serving sized
pieces. Serves 5-6


Simple Roasted Asparagus

1 lb. fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Arrange asparagus on rimmed
baking sheet. In small bowl combine
oil, sugar, salt/pepper – drizzle over
asparagus & toss gently until evenly
coated. Bake 15-20 minutes until
lightly browned & tender. Serve
immediately. Serves 4


Crockpot Chicken Dump &

Go Enchilada  Soup

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts,
about 1 lb.
2 C. chicken stock
1 1/4 C. red enchilada sauce (one 10 oz
2 (14 oz, ea) cans black beans, drained/
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (15 oz) can whole-kernel corn, drained
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion, diced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt (to taste)

Optional garnishes:

chopped fresh cilantro
diced avocado
diced red onion
shredded cheese
sour cream
tortilla strips/chips

Add all ingredients to crockpot;
stir to combine. Cover & cook
3-4 hours on High, or 6-8 hours
on Low until chicken is cooked
through & shreds easily. Use 2
forks to shred chicken. Serve
warm with optional garnishes.
Serves 4-6

This can be refrigerated in a sealed
container up to 5 days or frozen
for up to 3 months


Crockpot Elvis Pudding Cake

1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant banana cream
pudding mix
3 C. cold milk
1 pkg. yellow cake mix (regular size)
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 C. peanut butter chips
1/2 C. chocolate chips

Optional toppings:
Whipped cream (or Cool Whip),
sliced fresh bananas

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. In medium bowl whish pudding mix
& milk 2 minutes – let stand another
2 minutes until soft-set – pour into crockpot.
Prepare cake mix accordg. to pkg. directions,
add in 1/2 C. peanut butter; pour cake
batter over pudding. Cover & cook on Low
3-3 1/2 hours. Sprinkle peanut butter chips &
chocolate chips on top. Cover crockpot but
turn it off
. Let stand 15 minutes to partially
melt the chips. Serve warm with optional
toppings. Serves 12



Craft-wise, since I’ve been ‘sitting’ a lot
more than I would normally, I’ve finished
up the 40 baby hats for our local hospital
and started knitting more for the Detroit
Veteran’s Baby Shower coming in September.
Along with that project I made the ‘executive’
decision to rip out the green baby blanket
I’d been working on – the yarn is rather
heavy & bulky (and I don’t like knitting with
it!) so I came up with the idea to use it to
crochet a baby blanket instead. (Thank
you, Mary/Mama for the Diagonal Box
Stitch afghan pattern
!) That pattern will
work out MUCH better using this yarn
(in fact, I already started it today). Still
working on the other (thinner yarn) baby
blanket – not sure just yet where it will
be donated.

Weather-wise it’s been a very SPRING
weather – starts out a little chilly (in
the low 30’s) but then climbs to the
upper 40’s & sometimes 50’s! Sunny,
clear, light breeze (of course I’ve only
been able to observe this through the
windows – anxious to just GET OUT
for a change – been inside now for
5 days – ugh! Cabin Fever!)

Hope you are enjoying this lovely
SPRING! Soon we will be seeing
trees, bushes & flowers bursting
forth – can’t wait! We already are
hearing some of the birds singing –
love hearing them, too! Can’t wait
to spot my first Robin – in Michigan
that’s usually our first bird to return
from down South (kind of a Michigan
thing to see who spots one first!)



Wet, gloomy day –

but finished another project! I had knit the teal scarf for the needy and had a little yarn left over so I knit a hat to go with it:


The burgundy yarn came in for the church Bible bookmark – I’m about one-third done with that (can’t remember whether the total length of the page was 13 or 16 inches! Ugh!)


Layered Lemon Delight

1 C. flour
1/2 C. ground or finely
chopped pecans
1/4 C. butter, melted

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
2 1/2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
2 small boxes instant lemon
pudding mix
1 T. lemon juice
3 C. milk
1 C. powdered sugar
3 T. finely chopped pecans (garnish)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine flour, pecans & butter in
bowl until well blended & crumbly;
press mixture into bottom of a
9 X 13″ baking dish – bake 15
minutes & cool completely

In medium bowl using elec. mixer
beat cream cheese & powdered
sugar until smooth & creamy. Fold
in 1 C. Cool Whip & spread over
crust. NOTE: work slowly – you
might have to use your fingers to
spread as best you can). Whisk
puddings & milk; add lemon juice
& stir until thick – spread over
cream cheese layer & spoon
remaining Cool Whip over pudding.
Sprinkle top with chopped nuts &
refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

NOTE from poster: she feels this
recipe is better the next day so
she makes it a day or two ahead
of serving.


1-Pan Taco Skillet

1 1/2 lb. ground turkey or beef
2 bell peppers, seeded/diced
1 onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 C. salsa
1 C. canned black beans,
drained/rinsed (poster used
about 1/2 can)
1 C. water
1 C. beef stock
1 C. long grain rice (not instant)
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 C. grated/shredded Cheddar cheese

Optional toppings:
sour cream, guacamole, salsa,
crushed corn chips

Brown meat in skillet; add onion &
diced peppers – cook until meat is
completely browned. On medium
heat, stir in water, beef stock, salsa,
rice & beans. Stir in spices; cover &
simmer 15 minutes until rice is
completely cooked & liquid is absorbed.
Stir in cheese & top with your favorite
taco toppings. Serves 6


Crockpot Smoked Sausage/Cabbage &

1 1/2 lb. baby red potatoes
2 pkgs. smoked sausage, sliced
1 small head cabbage, chopped (6 C.)
4 C. chicken broth
salt/pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in 6 qt. crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours.
Serves 4-6


Country Farm Chicken Casserole

2 large chicken breasts
1 medium sweet onion, diced
5 slices bacon
2 large potatoes
1/2 C. canned mushrooms (or 1
C. fresh, sliced)
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
3/4 C. chicken broth
1 T. melted butter
salt/pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cook bacon, crumbled (reserve
grease). Peel/cube potatoes & fry
in bacon grease; add onions, mush-
rooms, salt/pepper/garlic powder & fry.
Coat chicken breasts with melted butter;
season with salt/pepper & cook. When
cooked, cut into cubes. Mix soup with broth
& season with salt/pepper to make a sauce.
Place chicken mixture in a 8 X 8″ baking dish;
top with sauce & stir so all is coated with
sauce. Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes.
Remove foil, top with crumbled bacon &
bake an additional 10 minutes, uncovered.
Serves 4

(recipe: Courtney Luper – Facebook)

Crockpot Stuffed Sweet Peppers

3 medium sweet red peppers
2 medium sweet yellow peppers
1 (14 oz) jar spaghetti sauce, divided
3/4 lb. Italian turkey sausage links,
casings removed
3/4 C. uncooked instant rice
1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/4 C. chopped tomato
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley
2 T. sliced ripe olives
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Cut tops off peppers; chop tops/discard
stems & seeds. Set aside 3/4 C. spaghetti
sauce – pour remaining sauce in crockpot.
In large bowl combine sausage, rice, cheese,
onion, tomato, parsley, olives, garlic powder,
salt, Italian seasoning, pepper flakes & reserved
chopped pepper tops & spaghetti sauce – spoon
mixture into peppers then transfer peppers to
crockpot. Cover & cook on Low 4-5 hours or
until sausage is no longer pink & peppers are
tender. Serves 5


Garlic Cheddar Quick Bread

3 C. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese,
1/4 C. sugar
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 1/2 C. milk
1/4 C. canola oil
1 egg

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a loaf pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl whisk flour,
baking powder, sugar, garlic
powder & Ital. seasonings. In
another bowl mix milk, egg &
oil until well combined; fold in
cheese. Pour mixture into
prepared pan (if desired
sprinkle a little additional
Italian seasoning on top)
Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Let bread cool approximately
15 minutes before cutting.
Makes 1 loaf


Spicy Sausage Soup with Tortellini

2 (32 oz, ea) cartons chicken broth
1 lb. bulk hot or mild Italian sausage
1 (9 oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted or
Italian diced tomatoes
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
3 C. fresh spinach, thinly sliced

In 6 qt. stock pot bring broth to boil.
Carefully drop sausage by heaping
teaspoonfuls into boiling broth. Add
tortellini, tomatoes & Ital. seasoning,
return to boil. Reduce heat, simmer,
uncovered, 8-10 minutes until sausage
is cooked through & pasta is tender. Stir
in spinach until wilted. Serves 8 (3 qts)

NOTE: Freezer option:
Freeze cooked, cooled soup in freezer
containers. To use, partially thaw in
fridge overnight. Heat through in a
saucepan, stirring occasionally & adding
a little broth, if necessary.


Large Batch Brownies

2 C. butter, melted
4 C. sugar
1 C. cocoa powder
4 tsp. vanilla
8 eggs
3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. chocolate chips (milk or

1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. cocoa powder
6 C. powdered sugar
10 T. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
dash salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Using stand mixer, place melted
butter, sugar, cocoa & vanilla in
bowl; beat on Low speed until
combined & smooth (about
1 minute). Add eggs, one-at-a-
time, mixing well between each
one. In separate bowl combine
flour & salt; add to batter & mix
on medium speed until smooth
(about 2 minutes); add chocolate
chips & stir until combined. Spray
a large cookie sheet with nonstick
spray. Scoop 3/4 C. of batter out of
bowl (into another bowl) & spread
rest of batter onto sheet – spread
evenly with a knife. (The remaining
batter can be baked in a loaf pan if
you wish). Do not add all batter to
cookie sheet – it will overflow)
Bake 25-30  minutes (be sure to
not over bake). Brownies are done
when a wooden toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean. Cool
Place melted butter & cocoa in
large bowl; beat on medium speed
using elec. mixer until well combined.
Add powdered sugar in batches,
milk, vanilla & salt – mix until smooth
& glossy. Spread evenly over brownies,
slice & serve.


Our weather warmed up some today to
almost 50 degrees F – that’s HUGE in
Michigan at this time of year…however,
along with the warm came breezes & rain
which made you feel chilled. Husband &
I had doctors appointments today and
I was really glad to finally get home, get
a warm sweatshirt, slippers & blanket
around me so that I could snuggle in
my recliner & read a book – it was THAT
chilly! (Of course, that was after I’d
already had a nice warm cup of Chai
Latte tea!). I’m fine, health-wise (knew
I was but because I’m diabetic my doctor
insists on seeing me every 3 months (could
be something to do with my insurance,
also). Husband finally got meds to help
him recover from the bronchitis – YAY!
Being sick with that for a week would
make anyone cranky! Dinner is chili; I
made a big batch yesterday and there
should be enough for at least 3 more
days (I make BIG batches!).

I also made the Banana Chocolate Chip
cake I’d posted a few posts ago – it was,
in my opinion, OK.

Banana Chocolate Swirl Cake
with Chocolate Glaze

It required you cover
the baked bundt cake with a chocolate
drizzle – let’s just say drizzle & I were
NOT friends – I had it ALL OVER – on
my hands, the counter, the cake,
my apron – UGH! After tasting the cake
I see no reason for it to need drizzle!
Husband liked it, so that’s good… will
I make that recipe again? Probably not.

Hope you are all comfy, warm & enjoying
your day;





Yep, it’s COLD!


Today our temperatures took a big dive – it’s 14 degrees F. outside and VERY windy, making it feel like -9 degrees F. Our special needs group has been canceled so I’ve been busy calling & texting everyone, making sure they don’t come tonight. I did go out grocery shopping and was really surprised at just how quickly the cold got through all my layers of warm clothing – not fun – thank heavens for a warm house, warm clothing and all our wants and needs covered – we are blessed.


Chewy Gingerbread Bars

3/4 C. butter, melted
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. molasses
1 egg
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. butter, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
dash salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 9″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. In large
bowl mix melted butter, sugar &
molasses – beat until well combined.
Add egg & beat until smooth. In
separate bowl mix all dry
ingredients; pour dry ingredients
into wet & beat just until
combined. Press dough into
prepared pan & bake 15-20
minutes – do not overbake.
Insert a toothpick into center-
if it comes out clean remove
pan from oven & let cool
completely. Bars will continue
to cook a bit as they cool.
Mix all frosting ingredients in
stand mixer until smooth.
spread frosting over top of
cooled bars & refrigerate
1 hour. Cut & serve; store
leftover bars in refrigerator
or freezer.

NOTE: If you want to double recipe:
use a large jelly roll pan (11 1/2″
X 16″) Bake 350 degrees F. for
20-25 minutes. Cool & frost &
refrigerate at least 30 minutes
before cutting


Quick ‘n Easy Taco Soup

1 lb. ground beef (or ground
turkey/chicken, your choice)
1 small onion, chopped
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans,
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (2 T.) pouch taco seasoning
NOTE: do not drain cans (except
kidney beans)

Optional Toppings:

shredded Cheddar cheese
sour cream
diced tomatoes or
pico de gallo
sliced avocado
corn chips
lime wedges
chopped cilantro

Brown ground beef & onion in large
skillet until cooked; crumbled, drain fat.
Add remaining ingredients & stir to
combine. Cook over medium heat,
simmer 10 minutes to let flavors blend.
Serve with optional toppings.

Spinach-stuffed Chicken Pockets

4 C/ fresh baby spinach
2 tsp. plus 1/4 C. olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 C. garlic-herb spreadable cheese
2/3 C. plus 1/4 C. seasoned bread
crumbs, divided
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
4 boneless skinless chicken breast
halves (6 oz, ea)
1 egg, lightly beaten

In large skillet saute spinach in 2
tsp. oil until spinach is wilted. Add
garlic; cook 1 minute; remove from
heat. Stir in spreadable cheese,
2/3 C. bread crumbs & 1/4 tsp. salt.
Cut a pocket in thickest part of
each breast, fill with spinach mixture
& secure with wooden toothpicks.
Place egg in a shallow bowl (or pie plate).
In another bowl combine pepper, salt &
remaining bread crumbs. Dip chicken in
egg then coat with bread crumb mixture.
In large skillet over medium heat, cook
chicken in remaining oil 8-10 minutes on
each side or until a thermometer reads
170 degrees F. Discard toothpicks before
serving. Serves 4


Creamy Ham, Potato & Corn Chowder

2 C. cooked ham, diced into small cubes
6 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
5 1/2 T. butter, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced (1 1/2 C)
2 carrots, peeled/diced (3/4 C.)
2 stalks celery, diced (3/4 C)
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
5 medium red potatoes, diced into
3/4 inch cubes
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
salt/ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 C. fresh corn kernels (or frozen)
1/4 C. plus 2 T. flour
3 C. milk
1/2 C. sour cream or heavy cream
chopped chives, for topping

In large pot melt 1 1/2 T. butter over
medium heat. Add onion, carrots &
celery – saute until tender, 4 minutes.
Add chicken broth, potatoes, oregano,
thyme & bay leaf – season with salt/
pepper to taste (slightly under season
with salt as bacon  & ham will add to
saltiness). Bring to boil over medium-
high heat; reduce heat to medium.
Cover & allow to cook until potatoes
are very tender, 17-20 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Reduce to warm
heat; stir in ham & corn.
In medium saucepan melt remaining
4 T. butter over medium heat. Add flour
& cook, stirring constantly, 1 1/2 minutes.
While whisking, slowly add in milk &
whisk vigorously to smooth lumps.
Season with salt/pepper to taste. Bring
to boil & allow to thicken, whisking
constantly. Remove from heat, stir in
sour cream. Pour & stir milk mixture
into soup mixture. Serve warm
topped with bacon & chives. Serves 6


Stuffed Baby Red Potatoes

24 small red potatoes
(about 2 1/2 lb)
1/4 C. butter, cubed
1/2C. shredded Parmesan
cheese, divided
1/2 C. cooked/crumbled bacon,
2/3 C. sour cream
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp paprika

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Scrub potatoes & place in
large saucepan covered with
water – bring to boil. Reduce
heat, cover & cook 15-20
minutes until tender; drain.
When cool enough to handle,
cut a thin slice off top of each
potato. Scoop out pulp leaving
a thin shell (cut thin slices off
bottoms of potatoes if needed
to make level).
In large bowl mash potato tops &
pulp with butter (set aside 2 T.
cheese & bacon for garnish) Add
remaining cheese & bacon to
potatoes; stir in sour cream,
egg, salt/pepper.  Spoon mixture
into potato shells & place on
ungreased baking sheet. Top with
remaining cheese & bacon –
sprinkle tops with paprika. Bake
12-18 minutes. Makes 2 dozen


Chicken Tamale Pie

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. corn kernels (canned/
fresh or frozen)
1 large egg
1 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. Taco seasoning mix
2 C. cooked/shredded chicken
3/4 C. enchilada sauce,
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. shredded Monterrey Jack
chopped fresh cilantro – optional

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Prepare corn muffin mix: in medium
bowl combine mix, sour cream, corn
& egg; whisk until evenly combined.
Spray large oven-safe skillet with
cooking spray & pour mixture into
pan. Bake 15 minutes until golden;
let cool slightly.
In large skillet over medium heat, heat
oil. Add onions, cook 5 minutes; add
garlic & cook 1 more minute. Add taco
seasoning & season with salt. Add
chicken & 1/2 C. enchilada sauce; stir
until combined. Poke holes all over
cornbread using bottom of a wooden
spoon. Pour remaining 1/4 C. enchilada
sauce over holes & top with chicken
mixture. Top with cheeses & bake
20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro,
if using, & serve.


Baked Spaghetti

1 C. onion, chopped
1 C. chopped green pepper
1 T. butter
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes,
1 (4 oz) can mushroom stems &
pieces, drained
1 (2 1/4 oz) can sliced ripe olives,
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 lb. ground beef, browned/
12 oz. spaghetti, cooked/drained
2 C. (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom
soup, undiluted
1/4 C. water
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet saute onion & green
pepper in butter until tender. Add
tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, oregano
& ground beef – simmer, uncovered,
10 minutes; drain. Place half of
spaghetti in greased 9 X 13″ baking
dish; layer with half vegetable mixture
& 1 C. Cheddar cheese – repeat layers.
In small bowl combine soup & water
until smooth; pour over casserole.
Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese &
bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes until
heated through. Serves 12


Winter Fruit Salad w/Cinnamon-
Rum Sauce

1 (12 oz) can pineapple juice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. rum extract
2 (10 oz, ea) cans mandarin
oranges, drained
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks,
2 C. purple or red (seedless) grapes
2 large apples, cored/chopped

In large bowl add 1 can pineapple
juice concentrate, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
& 2 tsp. rum extract – whisk to combine.
Add 2 drained cans mandarin oranges,
pineapple chunks, grapes & chopped
apples – stir to combine. Refrigerate
1 hour. Serves 10



Yesterday found me attempting to finish all the
‘extra’ knitting – managed to finish one of the
two sets of boot toppers – still have about 8
rows of ribbing (then sewing up) on the second
pair and then that’s done! YAY! I also took in
one small box of yarn to my knit group – all

but 3 skeins were taken. Our next meeting
(in 2 weeks) is the Yarn Swap so I’m hoping
to get rid of a lot more – we’ll see! There
is just too much  to take in all at one time,
so I’m slowly going to take a little in each

 Had an unusual
happening last night: I brought in 6 very large
skeins of yarn that i had ordered on line – when
I got it I discovered it was not as thick as I
thought it was – you would need to knit using
two yarns together to have it thick enough.
In my carrying all the ‘stuff’ in , somehow one
of the balls must have fallen out – onto the
parking lot and into a very dirty puddle – I
found it next to my car when I came out
3 hours later. What to do? I dragged it home,
filled a bucket with warm water & Tide and
let it soak. Today I ‘squished’ it together with
my hands to get out the dirty water then
rinsed it. NOW what to do!? I ended up
remembering I had a net laundry bag I used
to use for washing baby socks (keeps them
from getting lost in the washer/dryer) so
I put the ball in that and stuck it in the dryer.
It went through  1 hour – still VERY wet so
I’m going to try to keep doing that for a
few 1 hour cycles and see what happens.
My thoughts are: it’s VERY dense & probably
will not dry inside – I (right now) don’t exactly
know what to do other than unrolling it, a
little at a time, and letting THAT part dry –
repeat process. We’ll see – it’s a BIG ball!
(Yes, I can hear some of you: why not just
pitch it!? Well, it IS a good yarn, cost
$7.00 – not a big expense but I’d hate to
just waste it – we’ll see…)

Hope you are all safe, warm and enjoying
the beginnings of this New Year. Today is
my middle son’s 28th birthday – baked him
his favorite: double chocolate brownies
(with tiny chocolate chips inside) and
frosted with dark chocolate frosting – the
house smells great!

Enjoy your day;




Slowly getting it all done!


Well, they weren’t wrong in predicting more snow for my area – another 2+ (was supposed to be 5, so I’m not too upset). Ended up calling our plow guy to ask him to do our drive, even though it’s not much snow – since we live ON a major highway the bottom of our drive is piled up with frozen ice/snow to where (if you have a small car) you might not make it UP the drive (just enough of a slope to where you need a ‘running start’ to get up it, with snow/ice involved.  It’s about 25 degrees F out now with later predictions of freezing drizzle & light snow during the night – GREAT! I have choir practice from 6-8 p.m. tonight (NO chance of missing this one – tomorrow morning is the program!).

FINALLY finished the blue/green baby blanket – yes, people like it but the yarn makes the knitter a bit ‘blind’ if worked on too long – it’s a bit BRIGHT!


Brought out some more donated yarn (white & a federal slate blue) and started another (homeless) scarf – worked about 6 inches & decided it was too wide to be able to make a decent length before running out of yarn so started it again, narrower. Still wasn’t happy with the yarn – too scratchy so decided to dump that project and wait until tomorrow when I’m supposed to get 2 boxes & several BAGS of yarn (& some crochet things) from a lady at church. Sometimes just seeing new yarn gives me inspiration – we’ll see. (Next project will be another scarf – think I mentioned that last post).


Eggnog Bread

1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 C. eggnog
1/2 C. vegetable or canola oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. rum extract

Eggnog glaze:
1 C. powdered sugar
3 T. eggnog
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. rum extract
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray loaf pan with nonstick
spray. In large bowl whisk flour,
sugar, salt, baking powder,
cinnamon & nutmeg. In another
medium bowl combine eggnog, oil,
eggs, vanilla & rum extract. Slowly
add wet ingredients to dry – stir
until combined. Pour batter into
prepared pan then tap pan on
counter so the cake is evenly set
in pan. Bake 65-70 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean. Place on cooling
rack & cool 15 minutes. Loosen
sides of bread with a knife &
carefully remove from pan. Let
cake cool completely on wire
While bread is cooling, prepare
In small bowl whisk powdered
sugar, eggnog, vanilla, rum extract
& nutmeg – drizzle glaze over
cooled loaf.

NOTE: If cake isn’t done & top is
browning too fast, drape a piece
of foil over top & finish baking
until a toothpick comes out clean.

(recipe: twopeasandtheir

Crockpot Cranberry Apple Butter

2 lb. apples, peeled/cored/sliced,
about 6 C. (poster used Granny Smith)
1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 C. orange juice

(add at end, to taste)
1/2 C. brown sugar

Add apples, cranberries, clove, cinnamon
sticks & orange juice to crockpot. Cover &
cook on High 5 hours or Low 8, without
opening lid during cooking time. When
time is done, remove cinnamon sticks &
discard. Ladle everything into a blender
working in batches – add sugar. (poster
used 1/2 C. – you can always add more)
Blend until smooth. Makes 20 servings

Comments from poster:
I think it tastes better after being
refrigerated overnight. Good on
biscuits or croissants.


Four-Cheese Angel Hair Pasta

1 lb. angel hair pasta
1 T. unsalted butter
1 C. Half & Half
1 C. grated Cheddar cheese
1 C. grated Fontina cheese
1 C. grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 C. Pecorino Romano cheese,
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 C. chopped parsley

Bring 8 qt. stock pot of salted
water to boil – cook pasta to
al dente, reserve 1 C. pasta
In large skillet over medium-high
heat, melt butter & combine with
Half & Half. Bring to low simmer;
add all of cheese & 1/2 tsp. black
pepper. Reduce heat to Low &
mix until well incorporated. Drain
pasta & gently fold in half of pasta
using tongs to coat all strands.
Add parsley & rest of pasta. If sauce
is too thick, add a spoonful of
pasta water at a time until you
reach desired consistency. Serve
immediately. Serves 4

Country-style Pork Roast

1 (2-3 lb. ) pork roast
1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 T. olive oil
2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 lb. baby carrots (or sliced
1/4 C. cornstarch
1/4 C. cold water

Spray crockpot insides with nonstick
spray. Dump carrots in bottom of
crockpot. Cut roast in half; place
flour, salt, onion & garlic powders,
ground mustard & oregano in a
gallon-sized ziplock bag. Add one
half roast to bag, seal & shake until
roast is entirely coated – repeat with
other half of roast. Heat a large
skillet over medium-high heat; add
oil & brown roast on all sides (about
2-3 minutes per side) – place both
halves in crockpot. Pour chicken broth
on top. Cover & cook on Low 6 hours
until pork is tender. Remove roast from
crockpot; using a slotted spoon, remove
carrots. Measure out 3 C. liquid from
crockpot & pour into medium saucepan.
Bring to boil. In small bowl, mix cornstarch
& water & pour into saucepan. Bring to
boil & cook 2-3 minutes until gravy
thickens. Serves 8


Dump & Go Cracker Barrel Casserole

1 (2 lb) pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes,
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken or
mushroom soup
1 (16 oz) tub sour cream
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic or onion powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
diced ham or bacon (cooked/chopped)

Optional topping:
1 C. dry bread crumbs
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix hash browns, onion,
soup, sour cream, cheese, seasoning &
optional pepper/bacon or ham. Spread
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray & spread mixture into dish. Mix
topping ingredients & spread over
potato mixture. Bake 45 minutes to
1 hour, until golden brown. Serves 12

NOTE: Poster said that sometimes she
omits the optional topping & bakes it
30 minutes, removes from oven & stirs
it up ‘to get everything nice & crispy’,
then returns to oven to complete cooking


Crockpot Swedish Meatballs

1 can cream of mushroom
1 can beef broth
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
2 T. A1 steak sauce
1 (2 lb) pkg. frozen meatballs
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
1 (16 oz) pkg. egg noodles

In crockpot mix undiluted soup with
beef broth, onion soup mix & steak
sauce – stir well. Add frozen meatballs;
cover & cook on Low 6-8 hours or High
3-5 hours. When done, stir in sour cream.
Prepare egg noodles accordg. to pkg
directions; drain well & stir into crockpot
or serve on top of meatballs. Serves 6

NOTE: Poster said: If preparing for a crowd,
double recipe – keep crockpot on ‘warm’ or
‘buffet’ setting.


Crockpot Cranberry Meatballs

1 can whole-berry or jellied
cranberry sauce
3/4 C. chili sauce
1/4 C. water
2 bags frozen fully-cooked meatballs

Place cranberry sauce, chili sauce &
water in crockpot; stir to combine. Add
meatballs & stir to coat. Cover & cook
on Low 3-4 hours until bubbly &
meatballs are heated through. Stir &
serve warm. Serves 8


Cheesy Stuffing Casserole

1 (6 oz) box chicken or turkey
stuffing mix
1 (12 oz) bag frozen broccoli
1 (10 oz) bag frozen corn
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
salt/pepper, to taste
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
(OR) 1 C. fresh grated Cheddar

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick spray. Prepare
stuffing mix accordg. to pkg.
directions. Pour frozen broccoli &
frozen corn into prepared dish.
Pour soup over vegetables & stir
to combine; season with salt/
pepper. Dot top of vegetables
with cubed/grated cheese. Cover
with stuffing evenly over top.
Cover tightly with foil & bake
35-40 minutes. Remove from
oven & carefully remove hot foil.
Let stand a few minutes before
serving. Serves 6-8 as a side


Crockpot Cashew Candy Clusters

24 oz. dry roasted cashews(can use
4 oz. unsweetened dark baking
chocolate, broken into pieces
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 lb. vanilla almond bark broken
into as small of pieces as you can
1 tsp. vanilla

(recipe best made in a 5 qt or
larger crockpot for easier stirring)
Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Place cashews in
bottom of crockpot. Next a layer
of broken up dark chocolate &
chocolate chips. On top white
almond bark pieces. Cover &
cook on Low first hour, stirring
every 15 minutes using a spatula
or wooden spoon* After first hour,
stir every 30 minutes. When it starts
mixing really well but not quite all
melted, add vanilla & stir in well.
This can take 2-3 hours, depending
on how warm your crockpot gets.
(unless you are using a much older
first generation crockpot, skipping
the stirring process will result in
burnt cashews & chocolate.
After all is mixed well & smooth,
spoon out into empty cupcake
liners. Refrigerate until ready to
serve. Serves 4

*If you have a Warm feature on
your crockpot, cook on Warm for
the first 3 hours then just let it
melt as it won’t scorch before

NOTE: You can change up recipe
by adding pretzel bits, dry cereal,
different nuts or marshmallows at
very end as you are spooning
mixture into cups.



On the ‘getting it done’ front, finally have
one small fiber-optic up & lit, brought
down the rest of the Christmas ‘stuff’ –
good thing I went back up – forgot to
bring down the TOP of the tree! (it’s in
sections). Maybe between tomorrow &
Monday I’ll get the rest up (bigger tree
& lights on fireplace & secretary). We’ll
see …       Paperwork-wise, I’m good – got
the new calendar finished & printed for
the knit group (Tues), remembered to
call Panera Monday to order 3 dozen
of their mini-chocolate chip cookies
(every year I get those along with some
small candy bars & put them on trays
for the knit group (my Christmas present
to them), got thank you cards done for
those in the special needs group who
gave me presents (they always want me
to open them BEFORE Christmas!) – it’s
coming together.  Had an epiphany while
knitting: Mother of baby-to-be and her
Mom will be experimenting with baking
cookies & candy Monday (baby Mama
doesn’t cook) so I was thinking about
that; found a really nice wooden recipe
box with dividers & recipe cards on
Amazon – it’s ‘on it’s way before
Christmas’. I was texting with the other
grandma and we were mentioning
favorite cookie recipes – apparently
I have some she’s never heard of SOoooo
I thought: I’ll write some of them out
on some of the recipe cards & add
them to the recipe box! SCORE! I
love when a present idea hits –
especially when it’s an easy-to-
achieve one!

Not much else going on, trying to
conserve energies for later when
‘battling’ the snow & roads going
to & from church tonight. Sure hope
tomorrow mornings roads are clear!

Stay warm, drink a little something
you like (cocoa/tea/smoothie?) and
take a little time for yourself. It’s a
crazy time of year and we tend to
OVER-DO to the point where we’re
too exhausted to have any fun,
ourselves. (I know I’m guilty of that-
big time!).



and – once again – there’s TURKEY!


Had a lovely Thanksgiving celebration at oldest son’s house with lots of food, 2 turkeys (one roasted/one smoked) – we brought home our leftovers but NO TURKEY! All of us here were saying: “Gee, wish we had some leftover turkey to make a sandwich!” That got me to thinking: “Wait! I have that FREE 10/12 lb. turkey I got last week!” It just came out of the oven and the house smells great! We still have leftover green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls – all I need to do is whip up some gravy & stuffing and we’re good for another few meals PLUS leftovers! Bought 2 packages of the ‘ready-made, comes in a roll’ pie crusts for making turkey pot pie next week – yum! Funny thing: at dinner on Thanksgiving our 10 yr old grandson piped up and said that his teacher had them write about something that brings memories of Thanksgiving – he wrote about Grandma’s (that’s ME!) homemade green bean casserole! Too funny! (Now his Dad hates the stuff, so for his son to hold it in such high regard I take as a HUGE compliment!)

Earlier I made a quick trip to the grocery store for a few things (like bread & milk); while in line to check out I got into a conversation with the check out lady – we were chatting about the great holiday food. She said something about having a lot of food at her house; the lady behind me said the same thing: “We had turkey AND ham, tons of sides, so much food!” and THEN she says: “I’m tired of it so I gave the leftovers to the GARBAGE DISPOSAL!” Wow – talk about really making me cringe! She could have called someone, maybe a homeless shelter, and donated whatever she had leftover! WHAT A WASTE! Even if she didn’t know anyone personally, I’m sure if she called a church or shelter they could direct her to SOMEONE who would LOVE to have what she was ‘sick of eating’ – sigh. (I’ll get off my soapbox now . . .)


Apple Fritter Cinnamon Roll

2 medium apples, peeled/
cored & diced small (about
1 1/2 C. apples)
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 T. water
1 can Pillsbury Grands! cinnamon
rolls (5 rolls in pkg)
5 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/3 C. packed brown sugar
1 T. heavy whipping cream or
milk, optional

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9″ pie plate with nonstick
spray. Place diced apples, brown
sugar, gr. cinnamon & 1 T. water
in small bowl; stir. Cover loosely
with plastic wrap & microwave
on High 2-3 minutes until apples
are just slightly translucent; drain
well. Cut each cinnamon roll into
6 pieces (they will fall apart a little,
it’s OK). Sprinkle pieces evenly in
prepared pan. When apples are
done, drain well & sprinkle over
cinnamon roll pieces. Stir melted
butter & brown sugar together; pour
over top of apples/cinn. roll pieces.
Bake 28-33 minutes until cooked
through in center.
Just before serving, place icing
that came with rolls in a small bowl.
Heat about 10 seconds in Microwave
so that it’s pourable. Stir in heavy
whipping cream (or milk) to make
it more of a glaze, then pour over
top of dish. Serve warm or at
room temp. Makes 8-10 servings


Turkey Bundles

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. milk
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 C. cubed, cooked turkey
1/4 C. chopped water
1 green onion, chopped
2 (one 8 oz/one 4 oz) tubes
refrigerated crescent rolls
2 T. butter, melted
2 T. seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large bowl beat first 5
ingredients until smooth; stir
in turkey, water chestnuts &
green onion. Unroll both tubes
of dough & separate into 6
rectangles. Press perforations to
seal & place 1/3 C. turkey mixture
in center of each rectangle. Bring
4 corners of dough together above
filling; twist & pinch seams to seal.
Place on ungreased baking sheets
& brush tops with melted butter.
Sprinkle tops with bread crumbs
& bake 15-20 minutes until golden
brown. Makes 6

Turkey Stuffed Shells
(great use of leftovers)

24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 C. (4 oz) shredded mozzarella
1 C. cubed, cooked turkey
1 C. cooked stuffing
4 green onions, chopped
1 C. mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 tsp. chili powder,(optional)
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. turkey gravy, warmed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook shells accordg. to pkg.
directions for al dente.
In large bowl mix mozz. cheese,
turkey, stuffing & green onions.
In small bowl stir sweet potatoes
& (if using) chili powder. Drain
shells; fill each with 2 T. stuffing
mixture & 2 tsp. sweet potato
mixture. Arrange in greased
11 X 7″ baking dish; sprinkle
top with Parmesan cheese. Bake,
covered, 15-20 minutes until
heated through. Serve with
heated gravy. Makes 8 servings


Jalapeno Popper & Sausage Dip

1 lb. bulk spicy pork sausage
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
(about 12 oz)
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies,
1 (4 oz) can diced jalapeno peppers,

assorted fresh vegetables, cut up,
for dippers

In large skillet cook sausage over
medium heat 6-8 minutes until no
longer pink, breaking into crumbles.
Using slotted spoon transfer sausage
to 3 qt crockpot. Stir in cream cheese,
Parmesan cheese, sour cream, chilies
& peppers. Cook, covered, on Low
3 to 3 1/2 hours until heated through.
Stir before serving & serve with cut
fresh veggies for dipping.
Makes 24 (1/4 C. each) servings


Curried Turkey Rice Soup

1 lb. fresh butternut squash*
1 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
few grinds black pepper
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 C. small diced carrots
1 C. small diced onion
1/2 C. small diced celery
1 C. uncooked white rice
1/2 tsp. dry sage
1 tsp. dry curry powder
8 C. turkey stock/broth, divided
1 lb. cooked turkey meat,
1 C. frozen peas, thawed
1/2 C. Half & Half
salt/pepper, to taste

You can also use 2 C. leftover
cooked squash –  (if using
leftover, omit first 4 ingredients
in recipe)

*If using uncooked squash, preheat
oven 450 degrees F.
Peel & seed squash, cut in half
top to bottom, brush insides with
oil, salt/pepper & roast on a foil
lined pan until soft, 45 minutes to
1 hour. Once squash is soft, place
insides in food processor with
1-2 C. turkey stock; puree until

In 5 qt soup pot heat oil over
medium-high heat. Add carrots,
onion & celery – saute 4 minutes.
Add rice; saute 2 minutes. Add
sage & curry – stir. Add remaining
turkey stock, bring to boil. Lower
to a low simmer & cook until rice
is tender, 12-15 minutes. Add
cooked turkey & peas; heat just
to hot. Remove from heat & add
Half & Half – taste for seasoning,
adjust as needed. Serves 6-8


Crockpot Cheesy Corn & Peppers

2 lb. frozen corn kernels
2 T. butter, cubed
1 large green bell pepper, finely
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick spray. Add all ingredients
except cream cheese & Cheddar
cheese to crockpot. Cover & cook
on High 2 hours. Add cheeses, stir
to blend. Cover & cook 15 minutes
longer until cheeses melt. Serves 8


Sweet Potato Pancakes

2 large eggs
1 1/2 C. whole milk
1/4 C. butter, melted (plus
more to grease the pan)
1 1/2 C.  leftover sweet potato
1 3/4 C. flour
2 T. light brown sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 C. pecans
maple syrup, for serving

IN large bowl beat eggs with
butter & milk. Stir in sweet
potato casserole. In separate
bowl mix flour, brown sugar,
baking powder, cinnamon & salt.
Add dry to wet ingredients &
stir just to combine.

Preheat oven 200 degrees F.
(to keep pancakes warm while
you cook the entire batch)

Heat 1 or 2 griddle pans to medium-
low heat & grease each with butter.
Make sure pan is completely up to
temperature before adding butter.
Using a quarter cup measuring cup
& scoop batter onto pans, about
4 per pan. Cook until edges start
to dry & bottom is browned, then
flip, about 2-3 minutes. Cook on
other side until brown & place on
a cookie sheet & heat in oven.
While pancakes are cooking, heat
a small saute pan over medium &
add pecans. Dry toast about 5
minutes until browned, tossing
often. Cool then coarsely chop or
leave whole.
To serve: drizzle tops with maple
syrup & top with toasted pecans.
Makes 20 pancakes

*It’s OK is a little topping gets mixed


Pumpkin Pancakes with
Maple Pumpkin Butter

Maple Pumpkin Butter:
1 stick unsalted butter,
2 T. pumpkin puree
1 T. maple syrup

Pumpkin Pancakes:
1 1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 T. canola oil
1 to 1 1/4 C. milk
1 C. pumpkin puree

Maple Pumpkin Butter:
In bowl of stand mixer beat
butter, pumpkin puree & syrup;
mix until thoroughly combined.

In large bowl combine flour, brown
sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg & baking
powder; stir with a whisk until well
mixed. Make a well in center of bowl
with dry ingredients. Add beaten egg
& oil. Add 1 C. milk & start whisking
wet ingredients together. Slowly
incorporate dry ingredients from sides
of bowl until fully combined. Add
pumpkin puree & mix well, adding
more milk if necessary to get a thick
but pourable butter. Heat a flat griddle
over medium-low heat & grease well.
Griddle is hot enough when a drop of
batter immediately sizzles on it. Using
a 1/4 C. measure, ladle batter onto hot
griddle (these should make about a 4
inch pancake). Cook 2-3 minutes until
edges are set then flip & cook 2-3
minutes more – repeat with rest of batter.
Serve immeditely with a spoonful of
Maple Pumpkin Butter on top.
Serves 10-12 pancakes


(not sure if I posted these or not –
I made them for Thanksgiving – they’re
good but very sweet; next time I would
omit sprinkling the tops with powdered
sugar – they’re just fine without it)

Ooey Gooey Pecan Cheesecake Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
2 eggs
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 box powdered sugar, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cake mix, melted butter &
1 egg until it forms into a dough.
Press dough into 9 X 13 baking pan.
Combine cream cheese & 1 egg to
bowl of electric mixer & mix until
smooth. In batches, slowly, mix in
3/4 ths of box of powdered sugar.
Pour cream cheese mixture over
cake dough evenly until completely
covered. Sprinkle pecans & powdered
sugar over top. Bake 25-30 minutes.
Let cool before cutting into bars.



In the realm of knitting, here’s the two
pairs of boot toppers I knit for my oldest
son’s girlfriend:


In case you might be wondering just WHAT you would do with these, here’s a photo (the person I knit mine for really LOVES wearing boots)



Our weather has changed a bit from the
forecasts of a few days ago; they were
predicting rain changing to snow and cold
(30’s) temperatures. I’m SUPER glad that
didn’t happen (at least, not yet); right
now it’s 40 degrees F. & cloudy – the
forecast for up to Tuesday is 40’s,
Tuesday High 54 with 30% chance of
rain – Hey, I can handle THAT!

Hope you are having a great weekend –
for those of you who went ‘Out Shopping’,
can’t say as I ‘feel for you’ – that’s one of
those “I WOULD NEVER!” things (I hate
crowds so NO amount of great price
deals would lure me in).

Hope you all had a great holiday, found
items you wanted (if you shopped) and
are able to relax a little and count your



Lots of Recipes!


With Thanksgiving quickly approaching my inbox is overflowing with recipes! Our family dinner will be hosted by my oldest son but I will be responsible for providing the desserts (and a few other things). So far, in looking over all the great sounding recipes, I’ve chosen one dessert – lots more still to come, I’m sure!


Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie

2 3/4 C. sugar, divided
1/2 C. water
4 T. butter
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
pinch salt
2 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled/
sliced (about 4 large)
1 lb. Gala apples, sliced (about 2 large)
1/3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 unbaked pie crust – deep dish 9″

4 T. old-fashioned oats
2 T. flour
2 T. firmly packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
3 T. cold unsalted butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium saucepan bring 2 C. sugar
& 1/2 C. water to boil over medium
heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until
mixture starts to boil. After sugar dissolves
& syrup is simmering, reduce heat to
medium-low & cook 8-10 minutes,
without stirring until mixture turns a
light amber color. Remove from heat;
stir in butter, cream & salt until smooth;
let cool 15 minutes.
Place peeled/sliced apples in large bowl;
mix remaining 3/4 C. sugar, flour, cinnamon
& nutmeg; sprinkle over apples. Spoon apples
into prepared pie crust. (apples will mound
in middle). Drizzle apples with 1/2 C. caramel
In small bowl combine oats, flour, brown sugar,
cinnamon, & salt. Using a fork or pastry cutter,
cut butter into mixture until crumbly. Sprinkle
oat mixture over apples. Place pie on a large
rimmed baking sheet which is covered with
foil (to catch any spills).
Bake until browned & bubbly: 1 hour 15
minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. Loosely cover
pie with foil last 30 minutes if necessary
to prevent top from excess browning.
Let pie cool completely. Warm remaining
caramel sauce & drizzle pit top OR
individual slices with mixture before


These are what I chose as one of
my desserts:

Ooey Gooey Pecan Cheesecake Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
2 eggs
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 box powdered sugar, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cake mix, melted butter &
1 egg until it forms into a dough.
Press dough into 9 X 13 baking pan.
Combine cream cheese & 1 egg to
bowl of electric mixer & mix until
smooth. In batches, slowly, mix in
3/4 ths of box of powdered sugar.
Pour cream cheese mixture over
cake dough evenly until completely
covered. Sprinkle pecans & powdered
sugar over top. Bake 25-30 minutes.
Let cool before cutting into bars.


 Tangy Pineapple/Sweet Potato


4 medium sweet potatoes, washed/
cut into 1/4″ slices (about 4 C.)
2 C. pineapple, sliced
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
3 T. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 12 X 8″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. Arrange sweet
potatoes, pineapple & cranberries
in dish; sprinkle top with brown
sugar. Combine butter & cinnamon
in small bowl – drizzle over brown
sugar & cover with foil. Bake 45-50
minutes until potatoes are tender.
Remove foil last 5-10 minutes of
baking time. Serves 6


Stuffing Spinach Balls

1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix
for chicken
1 2/3 C. hot water
1/4 C. butter or margarine, cut up
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen, chopped
spinach, thawed/well squeezed &
patted dry
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. chopped fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 eggs

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix stuffing mix, hot water &
butter in large bowl until blended.
Add remaining ingredients; mix
lightly. Spray 2 rimmed baking
sheets with nonstick spray. Shape
mixture into 60 (1 inch each) balls
& place on prepared sheets. Bake
15-20 minutes until heated through
& lightly browned. Serves 12

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Crockpot Mushroom/Wild Rice Pilaf

1/4 C. unsalted butter
1 C. wild rice
4 oz. mushrooms, finely diced
6 green onions, diced
2 C. vegetable or beef stock
salt/pepper, to taste

Melt butter in medium pan over
medium heat. Add rice & toast
until lightly browned. Place
mushrooms & onions in pan &
saute over medium heat 2-3 minutes
until mushrooms start to cook; pour
mixture into crockpot & cook on
High 3 hours. Stir & season with
salt/pepper, to taste; serve warm.
Serves 6


Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
(make & serve or make &
freeze recipe)

1 whole raw chicken (5 lb), cut
into pieces
1/2 red pepper, diced small
1/2 green pepper, diced small
1/2 medium zucchini, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
1 lb. spaghetti, broken into 2″ pieces
2 cans cream to mushroom soup
3 C. grated sharp Cheddar cheese,
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt/pepper, to taste

Place chicken pieces in large pot filled
with cold water; bring to boil then reduce
heat & simmer at low bubble 30 minutes,
until chicken is cooked through. Remove
chicken from pot & allow to cool. Once
cooled, shred enough chicken for 2
generous cups. Remove 2 cups cooking
liquid from pot & save for later. Bring
remaining liquid back to boil; cook pasta
in water about 8 minutes until al dente;
drain. Heat olive oil in large skillet over
medium heat; add peppers, zucchini,
onion & garlic – season lightly with
salt/pepper & saute about 5 minutes
until veggies are softened.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large mixing bowl combine veggies, chicken,
pasta, cream of mush. soups, 1 1/2 C.
cheese, seasoning salt & cayenne pepper-
mix until combined. Stir in 1 C. reserved
liquid until well combined. Stir in as
much remaining liquid as needed to make
sauce creamy – add salt/pepper, to taste.
Spoon mixture into either a 9 X 13″ baking
dish (that has been sprayed with nonstick
spray) (OR) two 8 X 8″ baking dishes sprayed
with nonstick spray. Sprinkle remaining
1 1/2 C. cheese on top. Bake 30 minutes
until bubbly & cheese is golden brown.

You can either bake & serve it OR (without
baking) cover with foil & refrigerate up to
2 days OR freeze up to 6 months. If you
refrigerate it, it will take about 45 minutes
to bake. IF YOU FREEZE IT – defrost first,
then bake 45 minutes.


Chutney/Bacon Cheeseball
(8 hour or overnight recipe)

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 C. (8 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar
1 (9 oz) jar chutney
1 lb. bacon strips, chopped
6 green onions, finely chopped

assorted crackers

In large bowl combine cheeses &
shape into a ball. Place ball on a
plate & top with chutney. Cover &
refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
In large skillet cook bacon over
medium heat until crisp; drain
then sprinkle bacon & onions over
cheese ball before serving.
Serve with crackers. Makes 4 1/2 C.


Crockpot Apple Pudding Cake

2 C. flour
2/3 C. plus 1/4 C. sugar, divided
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cold butter
1 C. 2% milk
2 medium tart apples, peeled/
1 1/2 C. orange juice
1/2 C. honey
2 T. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/3 C. sour cream
1/4 C. powdered sugar

Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick spray.
In small bowl combine flour,
2/3 C. sugar, baking powder &
salt. Cut in butter until mixture
resembles coarse crumbs. Stir
in milk just until  moistened &
spread in bottom of crockpot;
sprinkle apples over batter.
In small bowl combine orange
juice, honey, melted butter,
cinnamon, remaining sugar &
pour over apples. Cover &
cook on High 2-3 hours until
apples are tender. In small bowl
combine sour cream & powdered
sugar; serve on the side with warm
pudding cake. Makes 10 servings


Our weather is still clear & nice – in the mid 50’s;
according to the weather reports we’ll very soon
be dropping down to what are our ‘normal’
temperatures for this time of year in Michigan –
the mid 40’s & below. I don’t mind any other
seasons of the year except winter, just because
of the cold/snow/ice/driving conditions, etc.
Snow is pretty to LOOK AT but, to me, that’s

It’s been a quiet week so far, as you read in
my last entry I finally finished the baby hat,
adult owl hat and now the blanket, too. Have
started knitting a pair of boot toppers for
my oldest son’s girlfriend (who loves wearing
boots) – finished #1 now on to #2, then to
sew them up. They were easier than I had
anticipated so I think I’ll be looking into
another cable pattern to adjust to making
another pair of boot toppers – we’ll see
how that goes.



Boot Toppers are in a medium chunky yarn

That’s about that’s new around here for




The Holidays are Coming – FAST!


Do you ever feel like the holidays sort of SNEAK UP on you? I’m reeling from the idea that, VERY SOON, I’ll have to come up with some awesome Thanksgiving ‘side’ dishes to take to my son (the Executive Chefs) house! (read that: Just a little intimidating, for sure). There are LOTS of great-sounding recipes coming in, so here are a few to share with you:

(am thinking of making these for this Sunday: I have the snacks for our Sunday School class)

Easy Lemon Sticky Buns w/
Cream cheese glaze

1 (3 oz) pkg. Lemon flavored Jello
1 T. juice & 2 tsp. zest from 1
lemon, divided
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar, divided
2 (8 oz, ea) cans refrigerated crescent
dinner rolls, divided
1/4 C. butter, melted/divided
2 oz. cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine dry jello, lemon zest &
1/2 C. sugar in bowl. Unroll 1 can
dinner rolls onto work surface;
firmly press perforations & seams
together to form 12 X 4″ rectangle.
Brush with half butter then sprinkle
with half jello mixture. Roll up, starting
with one short end; cut into 6 slices.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray & arrange slices, cut sides up,
in half of pan. Repeat with remaining
dough, butter & jello mixture. Bake
30 minutes until golden brown. Cool
5 minutes.
Mix cream cheese, lemon juice &
remaining sugar until blended – drizzle
over top of warm rolls.
Serves 12


Cheese & Pumpkin-filled Manicotti

1 (8 oz) pkg. manicotti shells
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
2 C. (8 oz) shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided
1 C. canned pumpkin
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 (24 oz) jar garlic spaghetti
sauce, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook manicotti shells accordg.
to pkg. directions for al dente;
drain. In large bowl mix ricotta
cheese, 1 C. mozz. cheese, pumpkin,
Parm. cheese, egg yolks & nutmeg;
spoon into manicotti. Spray
9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Spread 1 C. spaghetti sauce
on bottom of dish & top with
stuffed manicotti; pour remaining
sauce over top & sprinkle with
remaining mozz. cheese. Bake,
covered, 25-30 minutes until
cheese is melted. Serves 7


Cranberry Orange Relish

1 large navel orange (seedless)
1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
1/2 – 3/4 C. granulated sugar

Zest orange & place zest in a
food processor. Using a sharp
knife, cut pith from rest of
zested orange & discard. Cut
remaining peeled orange into
quarters; pick out & discard any
seeds. Place orange in food
processor along with zest. Add
cranberries & 1/2 C. sugar –
pulse to coarse consistency.
Taste & add more sugar if you
want it sweeter (poster only
used 1/2 C. sugar). Makes 2 C.
Can be refrigerated up to
1 week.


Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

3 lb. russet potatoes, peeled &
cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
3/4 C. heavy cream
1 C. sour cream
1/2 stick butter
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt/pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
8 oz. bacon, cooked/chopped
3 scallions, finely chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook potatoes in large pot of
boiling water 15 minutes until
soft. Drain & return to pot. Add
cream, butter, sour cream, garlic &
onion powder, salt/pepper. Mash
until smooth, or to taste. Stir
1 1/2 C. cheese, most of bacon &
scallions, reserving some for
topping; transfer mixture to
small baking dish & top with
remaining cheese. Bake 20
minutes until cheese is melted &
golden. Top with remaining bacon &
scallions. Serve with extra sour cream.
Serve immediately. Serves 6


Crockpot Egg & Sausage Casserole

14 slices bread cut into large squares
1 dozen eggs
2 1/4 C. milk
1 lb. breakfast sausage, cooked/drained
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 small can green chilies
salt/pepper, to taste

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Make layers: bread, sausage,
peppers & chilies. Beat eggs with milk,
salt/pepper & pour over layers. Cover &
cook on Low 5-7 hours. Serves 6-8


Apple Squash Soup

2 T. butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken or
vegetable broth
2 medium tart apples, peeled/
finely chopped
3/4 C. water
1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen cooked
winter squash, thawed
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk

In large saucepan heat butter
over medium-heat. Add onion &
sage; cook & stir 2-4 minutes until
tender. Add broth, apples & water;
bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer,
covered, 12 minutes. Add squash,
ginger & salt; return to boil. Reduce
heat, simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes
to allow flavors to blend. Remove from
heat & cool slightly. Pour mixture into
blender in batches, process until smooth
then return to pan. Add milk, heat
through, stirring occasionally (do not
allow to boil). Serves 5

NOTE: Soup can be frozen:
Freeze cooled soup in freezer containers;
to use, partially thaw in fridge overnight.
Heat through in a saucepan, stirring
occasionally & adding a little broth,
if necessary.


Crockpot Cream Cheese/Caramel Dip
(use small 2.5 qt crockpot)

8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 (11 oz) bag caramels, unwrapped
1/4 C. powdered sugar

sliced apples

Place cubed cream cheese & unwrapped
caramels in crockpot. Cover & cook on
High 30 minutes to an hour. After
10-15 minutes, check to see if cream
cheese & caramels have started melting.
Once they start melting, stir frequently
until well blended. Stir in powdered sugar
until well mixed. Serve with apple slices.
Serves 6-8


Baked Fontina Dip

2 lb. Italian Fontina cheese,
rind removed/cubed (1-2″ cubes)
1/2 C. olive oil
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 T. thyme, minced
1 1/2 T. rosemary, minced
1-2 loaves French baguettes,
salt/ground black pepper, to taste

Place oven rack in upper portion of
oven – preheat broiler.
Using a large cast-iron skillet, spread
an even layer of Fontina cubes along
the pan – drizzle oil on top. Sprinkle
garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt/pepper on
top. Bake 5-6 minutes until cheese is
bubbly & starting to brown. (watch it-
it’s easy for cheese to burn)
Remove from oven & serve immediately
from skillet, dipping slices of bread
directly into cheese. Serves 6-8


Pumpkin Bars

4 large eggs
1 2/3 C. sugar
1 C. canola oil
1 (15 oz) can solid-pack
2 C. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 T. milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In bowl beat eggs, sugar, oil &
pumpkin until well blended. Combine
flour, cinnamon, baking powder,
baking soda & salt. Gradually add
dry  mixture to pumpkin mixture-
mix well. Pour into ungreased
9 X 13″ baking dish. Bake 25-30
minutes until set. Cool completely.
Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar,
butter & vanilla in small bowl. Add
enough milk to achieve spreading
consistency – spread over bars.
Store leftovers in fridge. Makes 2 dozen



The weather is cooler (in the mid-50’s), rainy-
the perfect day to stay inside & knit! Still
working on second grandson’s blanket – have
about 3 1/2 feet done now – long way to go.
Also working on finishing that goofy red/black
‘eyelash’ yarn scarf – shouldn’t be too long on
that one. I was wondering just what to do with
it when it’s finished; I totally forgot that my
special needs group sponsors a ‘needy’ box
during the winter months for hats, scarves,
mittens, gloves & socks (all ages sizes). The
goofy scarf will go in there. Then I got to
thinking about making more ‘stuff’ for that
cause – spotted a loom-knit hat I’d done
a few years ago – I have two large skeins
of donated yarn that would work great
for a hat. With loom hats you need to use
2 skeins at the same time; these are
BRIGHT yellow & BRIGHT orange – just
the colors for a teenager. I can create a
loom-knit hat in about 2-3 hours – we’ll
see where this goes. (If you know me,
you know I just can’t pass up a good
charity project – just my nature, I guess).

I’m testing out my new (to me) little
roaster oven I bought at the Mom2Moms
sale a few weeks ago. Threw in a frozen
pork roast with carrots, dry onion soup
mix & garlic powder (a little water in the
bottom to make sure it doesn’t burn). It’s
smelling GREAT, so I’m going to say that
purchase was a WIN/WIN! When I brought
it home the guys were saying: “$2.00 –
but does it WORK!?” Well, now we know!
Have quite a few baking potatoes on hand
so that should make a good, filling meal.

Hope your day is going just exactly as
you would HOPE it would!



PS: I just read in today’s paper that there
was a gas pipeline break in Helena, Alabama,
complete with huge fires.  I’m guessing that will
really push the gas prices right back up there.
According to the article: “raising the specter
of another round of gas shortages & price

Been Busy – Sorry…


Sorry I haven’t posted, it’s been rather busy around here. Saturday our oldest son called bright & early to announce he & our grandson were coming over to help clean our garage. Did WE schedule this event, you asked? NO – he just had a free day and decided that’s what we’d all do! Our garage is old and filled to the brim with all kinds of junk. The main reason for this cleaning was to get rid of our old riding lawnmower – not only did it die but it had 2 flat tires, which made it almost impossible to drive/push onto the ramp for son’s truck. It took 5 adults (not me) to actually LIFT it onto the bed of his pick up! More work/time went by and he filled the truck with another 2 gas mowers, more metal/junk and did a run to the scrap yard. Later they came back and we filled the truck a second time with even MORE scrap metal! There’s still more work to be done to get the garage totally clean but at least there will be room, now, for a new riding lawnmower (which was husband & son’s intentions).

Yesterday found us busy, again, with church then grandson’s football game (only ONE more to go – YAY!). This time I left early & went to choir practice (on time!), then evening church. I would say I’m glad today is here, but at 2 I have an eye appointment (the kind where they dilate your eyes and you can’t see for a good 2-3 hours afterwards – fun…


Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

2 C. flour
3 C. finely grated/drained zucchini
1 C. oil
4 eggs, room temp, lightly beaten
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 C. cocoa
2 C. granulated sugar
3/4 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place cupcake liners in pan (makes
approx. 26-28 cupcakes)
In large bowl add flour, sugar, cocoa,
baking soda, baking powder, salt &
cinnamon; whisk gently. Make a well
in the center of the dry ingredients &
add eggs & oil. Mix by hand; batter will
be fairly thick. Add in grated zucchini &
chocolate chips – fold in using spatula.
Batter should loosen up a bit with
moisture from zucchini. Using an ice
cream scoop, fill cupcake liners 2/3rds
full. Bake about 18 minutes until a
toothpick inserted into center of
cupcake is removed mostly clean.


Layered Vegetable Torte
(oven or grill method)

1 large eggplant, cut into
1/4″ slices
4 medium zucchini or yellow
squash, cut 1/4″ slices
2 portobello mushrooms,cut
1/4″ slices
1/2 C. olive oil (or more, as
salt/ground black pepper
2 plum tomatoes, cut 1/4″
2 T. minced garlic
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 C. bread crumbs

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place a grill pan over medium-
high heat or heat grill – heat
should be medium-high & rack
about 4 inches from flame. Brush
veggies lightly with half of oil &
sprinkle with salt/pepper. If
roasting, grease 2 baking sheets
with oil. Roast or grill veggies on
both sides until soft.
Coat bottom & sides of an 8″
*springform pan with oil. Layer
1/3 of eggplant slices on bottom,
then half of zucchini, mushrooms,
tomato, garlic & basil, sprinkling
each layer with salt/pepper. Repeat
layers. Press top with a spatula or
spoon to make the torte as compact
as possible. Sprinkle top with Parm.
& bread crumbs – drizzle with about
1 T. oil. Bake in oven until hot
throughout & browned on top, about
30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before
removing outer ring of pan, then let
cool 10 minutes more before cutting
into wedges. Serves 4-5

NOTES: comment from another person
on this site: they peeled the eggplant
before grilling because they said grilling
leaves the skins tough

*Another person said: Line a rectangular
baking pan with foil (sprayed w/nonstick
spray) before constructing torte, then
make layers. Invert carefully after partial

NOTE: DO NOT reheat, as it will turn to mush


Sweet & Smoky Honey Chicken

2 tsp. oil, plus extra for the pan
smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 clove garlic, very finely minced
8 bone-in chicken thighs
1/3 C. honey
1 T. each:
balsamic vinegar
soy sauce

chopped parsley (garnish)

In small bowl mix oil, paprika, salt &
garlic; rub mixture under chicken skin
& on back of chicken (OR) rub all over
the chicken if you’re using skinless.
Heat large skillet over medium-high
heat & add enough oil to thinly coat
bottom. Sear chicken, skin sides down
until well browned on the skin side,
about 5 minutes. Do no over crowd the
pan. Drain any fat & turn thighs skin sides
up. In small bowl mix honey, vinegar &
soy sauce – pour into pan with chicken.
Bring to boil over medium heat then reduce
heat to keep it at a simmer. Be careful as
the honey will boil over easily. Let chicken
cook, uncovered, 15 minutes.
Serve with sauce over top or remove chicken
from pan & boil sauce hard a few minutes to
thicken it. Drizzle with a little balsamic &
sprinkle with chopped parsley when serving.
Serves 4


Old Fashioned Meatloaf

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 (10.5 oz) can vegetarian
vegetable soup
1 C. dry bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
3 lightly beaten eggs,
(used separately)
2 C. instant mashed potatoes,
prepared accordg. to pkg.
directions, reducing water to
3/4 C.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix all ingredients
except mashed potatoes & 1 egg.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray form mixture
into an oval-shaped loaf &
bake 1 hour. Prepare instant
potatoes & add remaining beaten
egg – whip until blended. When
loaf has cooked 1 hour, remove from
oven & drain any grease. “Frost”
loaf with mashed potatoes & bake
15-20  minutes until potatoes are
slightly crusted & heated through.
Serves 6


Company Potatoes

2 C. (8 oz) grated Cheddar cheese
2 C. (8 oz) grated Swiss cheese
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
4-5 large baking potatoes, peeled/
coarsely grated
1 C. Half & Half
2 scallions, sliced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

paprika, for garnish

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick spray. In medium bowl
combine Cheddar & Swiss cheeses
& parsley; mix well. In large bowl
combine remaining ingredients
except paprika. Add 3 C. cheese
mixture & stir until well combined –
pour into prepared dish. Cover with
foil & bake 30 minutes. Uncover &
sprinkle with remaining cheese
mixture & paprika. Bake 20-25
minutes until golden & bubbly.
Serves 8


Calzone Pinwheels

1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. ricotta cheese
1/2 C. diced pepperoni
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. chopped fresh mushrooms
1/4 C. finely chopped green pepper
2 T. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (8 oz) pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls
1 (14 oz) jar pizza sauce, warmed

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In small bowl mix first 9 ingredients.
Unroll dough & separate into
4 rectangles, pressing perforations
to seal. Spread rectangles with cheese
mixture to with 1/4 th inch of edges.
Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting with a
short side; pinch seam to seal.
Using a serrated knife, cut each roll
into four slices & place on a greased
baking sheet, cut sides down. Bake
12-15 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with warmed pizza sauce.
Makes 16 appetizers


Crockpot Chicken & Gnocci Soup

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 C. frozen crinkle-cut carrots
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 C. chicken broth

1/2 C. heavy cream
1 (17-18 oz) pkg. dried gnocci
4-5 oz. pkg. fresh baby spinach

Place chicken, carrots, seasonings &
flour in crockpot – toss to coat well.
Slowly stir in broth, stirring to make
sure flour dissolves. Cover & cook
on High 3-4 hours or Low 6-8 hours.
Shred chicken using forks or break
apart into large chunks. Add cream,
gnocci & spinach; cover & cook on
High 15-30 minutes until gnocci
is cooked tender & soup is fully
heated through. Serves 4


Apple Dumplings Cobbler

4 C. flour
2 tsp. salt
1 C. shortening, cold
1/2 C. butter, cold
10 T. cold water
4 each of a combination of
three different apple varieties:
(poster used Granny Smith, Fuji &
Gala), peeled/sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 C. sugar
2 T. cinnamon
1/2 C. butter (1 stick)
1 to 1 1/2 C. water
1/2 C. butter, melted

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Mix flour, salt, shortening & 1/2
C. cold butter together using pastry
blender (or 2 forks) until well blended.
Add water to mixture & mix all
ingredients together until they come
together in a ball slightly. Divide
dough in half – roll one half on a
lightly floured surface using a rolling
pin – place in a large oblong dish,
pushing the dough up the sides.
Place sliced apples in the dish. In
large saucepan heat sugar, cinnamon,
1/2 C. butter & water over medium
heat until butter melts – pour over
apples in dish. *Roll other half of dough
on slightly floured surface & cut into
1/2 inch strips – place a row diagonally
half inch apart on top of the apples.
Place another row of strips going
the opposite direction half inch apart.
Brush top liberally with melted butter &
sprinkle top with sugar. Bake 1 hour.
Serve hot or room temperature.

*Top crust can be rolled into a single
layer & placed over apples, instead of strips



Craft-wise still working on blue/green/white baby blanket for
Crisis Pregnancy, the yellow (not sure who gets it yet) baby
blanket – the one I got really frustrated with and started a
new one. Some long-time friends of ours have a daughter
who’s now 34 and expecting for the first time – she’s having
a girl in January and invited me to her baby shower – about
1 1/2 hours away. I’m NOT planning on going (haven’t seen
her in a good 10-15 years) but want to give her a gift. As with
other baby blankets I’ve done, this one started out very rocky:
tried about 4 different patterns using a very pretty mild pink/
white and pale cocoa variegated yarn – was not happy with
any of them. Finally dragged out a different yarn (same weight,
pink/green/blue/white variegated) and found an old pattern of
mine – now have about 2 feet done on it. I should (with my speed
in knitting) be able to finish the blanket, a hat & booties in time
for January – I’m planning on mailing it to her. Chatted with my
son’s girlfriend yesterday at the football game – they find out
(hopefully) tomorrow boy or girl (she’s 20 weeks and it’s her
ultrasound). Good thing we had that chat – she said she HATES
PINK! (I know – my son really wants a boy, but . . .) I’m thinking
maybe the yellow afghan I’ve been working on might just be
“The One” for them – we’ll see.

Went to a craft show Saturday (after the garage cleaning) – I
would have stayed home but this was being presented by
three of my knit group ladies and I felt I should go. Three of
them are from Peru – Mother (who’s been in the States for
many years) crochets beautifully, all kinds of items and so
does her granddaughter & daughter. Not only all kinds of
knit/crocheted items but her daughter made hand-made
Peruvian chocolates! She let me try one then I bought 2
(I know, I sound cheep) but they were $1.00 EACH and
small! What did I think of them? They were OK – I LOVE
Marzipan and I tried that flavor – really didn’t get the
flavor at all and the chocolate (even though it was dark)
didn’t really have a distinct flavor. Oh well – at least I
‘represented’, right? I did end up buying a sock monkey
(personally I don’t really care for them but these were
really cute, made by another of the crafters at the show).
$20 for a small one – a bit ‘steep’ I thought, but it will
be a shower gift for new grandbaby. We have two more
Mom-2-Mom sales coming up the next two Saturdays –
hopefully by then we’ll know if it’s a boy or girl and be
able to ‘buy things accordingly’.

Well, friends – hope you have a good beginning to your